Coco Beach Resort | Puerto Galera

1959867_10153975378030725_1000377379_n

Puerto Galera, the place I wanted to visit for its prestige beaches and many accommodations to choose from. Getting deals from deal grocer is a superb idea when you are in search for good accommodation without even spending a high amount of money.

I actually got this deal from a website offering discounts for different establishments like Hotels, Restaurants and a quick get away. Metro Deal is my reliable partner if I wanted to score on a luxury hotels in the Philippines. You may check their website for more discount options.

HOW TO GET THERE:

  • From Manila take the bus going directly to Batangas Port. You can go to any of these bus terminals in Metro Manila:
    Bus Terminal in Taft Avenue
    Bus Terminal in Cubao near Ali Mall
    Bus Terminal in Kamias street
  • Upon arriving at Batangas Port go to Terminal 2 or Terminal 3 and find the ticket counter going to Puerto Galera. Note that there are many points of entries in Puerto Galera namely Sabang Pier, Muelle Pier, Balatero Pier, and White Beach. Be sure to know the specific pier. By the way we took the Muelle Pier.

Puerto Galera

The hotel facilities are made from natural materials. It is 10 hectares in size, just imagine the size of the whole resort. From the time of arriving, we were greeted by their friendly staff and handed us a fresh coconut juice. I just signed up the form and gave us our keys then rested for a while. Our room got free breakfast and free bottled water every morning and take note we also have a newsletter every morning which includes the activities for the day.

img_8653

The deal that I got is good for 2 persons for 4 days and 3 nights. They offered us to stay in their Classic Deluxe rooms which are simple and comfortable. The inclusions of the deal are buffet breakfast, 15% on their Spa and Salon, 15% on water activities, 10% on set meals, and 10% on shopping items.

The whole hotel rooms are made from bamboo. The typical nipa hut style of house in the Philippines. The people cleaning your rooms are families living inside the hotel. Yes, you heard it right, their housekeeping services are from the locals. They are living beside your room; so if you happen to pull the bell it will ring inside their home. The cabana or room that we got is like a house. It is 2 bedrooms and good for 4 people.

Comfortable and like a princess in her own kingdom
Comfortable and like a princess in her own kingdom

twin Bed

swimming pool

This package was only bought for Php 5500.00 good for 4 people for 4 days and 3 nights. So imagine the discount that we got. The actual price for each room is Php 4,500 per night.

NewsLetter

Just imagine how many activities you can do in your stay just inside the resort. Yes, they offer 101 activities and it is on a day to day basis. Here is the list of the activities that you can do for free:

  1. Welcome Walk – free; conducted every day
  2. Wogging Trail – free; conducted every day from 9:30 AM till 15:00 and there’s free chilled Calamansi water after the trail.
  3. Happy Hour Ball Game – free; conducted every Friday and Saturday from 15:00 to 16:00, wait the winner of the game will get a prize.
  4. Pig Game, Cork Game or Yatzee -free (with a twist); conducted every day when their Bartenders is not that busy you can play with them these games. The twist of the game is that if you lose, you pay double for your drink and if you will win, the drink is for free! How cool is that?
  5. Chess with your service family – free; conducted every day with your service family. The twist for this game, if you win the dinner they will be cooking is for free but if you lose the game you pay it.
  6. Boccia – free; conducted every day. Just ask them at the Activity Booth to teach you the rules and when you know it already, you can get the balls anytime.
  7. Basketball Game – free; conducted every day in the afternoon. You can do this game with other guests.
  8. Board Games – free; conducted every day. They have scrabble, games of generals, Backgammon and a Mahjong Set as well.
  9. Coconut Game – free; conducted every day at 16:00. This is a bowling game but you’re using a coconut and enjoying a happy hour drink.
  10. Video Room – free; conducted every day at Video Room
  11. Coco Mini Gym – free; every day
  12. Outdoor Cinema – free; conducted every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 20:30. Just sign up at Info Activity for reservation. This activity will depend on the weather.
  13. Badminton – free; conducted every day
  14. Dart Tournament; free if you will win and you will get a cocktail drink. Conducted every Monday.
  15. Table Tennis Tournament – free; conducted every Wednesday from 15:00 onwards.
  16. Beach Volleyball Match – every Friday from 17:00, the losing team pays for a case of soft drinks/beer and it will be enjoyed by all players.

There’s a lot more to choose from. This is only the few but imagined what you can do inside the resort, you will never get bored!

Coco Beach Resort truly exceeded our expectations. From the buffet breakfast to their meals that were made by the service family and to the activities that we made was truly beyond words.

For bookings and reservations:

Phone: (+63) 917 883 9334
Fax: (+63) 43 287 3529
Email: sales@cocobeach.com/ reservation@cocobeach.com

Enchanting Island | El Nido, Palawan

el-nido-11

With all the numerous accolades that Palawan had won in the past years, and with all the thousands of articles and blogs written about it, it’s now only a cliche whenever some people tell how magnificent this island truly is.

Well, Palawan’s enchanting island is worth a million stories to be told over and over again. It is not only the scenic view or the beautiful beaches that will captivate you but also the environment of joy and pleasure and the warmth of the people that is undoubtedly remarkable!

Our trip in Palawan last July 2015 was one of the best travels I’ve ever had in my life. This is not an exaggeration rather it is only a fitting compliment to the wonderful experience we had in our stay at this island.

el-nido-3

HOW TO GET THERE

Palawan is a province in the Philippines that consists of a main big island with several other smaller islands surrounding the main island. It is located at the southwestern part off the coast of Luzon island, the biggest island in the Philippines. The city of Puerto Princesa is the capital of the province and from the airport, you will have to take a 4-5 hour ride to get to the town of El Nido, where the pristine beach and world-renowned limestone islands are located.

Since we did not have any tour package from a travel agency, we did our own do-it- yourself vacation trip package by looking for the cheapest airfare, accommodation and island tour there is. We got our airline tickets from Air Asia which offered “piso” (i.e. .022 USD) fare sale for their Manila to Palawan and vv. flights. Note that this amount is just a rate and not the actual fee you’ll have to pay, nevertheless, it is really cheap! The next thing we did was to book for a nice but affordable hotel or resort to stay for three days. Fortunately, Marina Garden Beach Resort offered an off-peak sale for our accommodation and we also bought on sale our four-day island tour from Northern Hope Tours (www.northernhopetours.com) All in all our total expenses for our 4-day trip cost us about 8,000 pesos or 177 USD for each person.

el-nido-12

It’s no wonder why Palawan was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as the world’s best island for three times in a row as it is not only a good place to relax your body, but also an affordable place that would suit anyone on a tight budget. The basic goods are relatively cheap in the Philippines, and in Palawan, we did not find our pockets drained since we were able to afford everything that we needed in our stay.

We arrived at the airport a little bit late in the afternoon. Puerto Pricesa City’s airport is a small international airport that serves as the main entry hub of the tourist-bound island. From the airport, we were greeted and picked up by representatives of Northern Hope Tours. Since the trip going to El Nido will last for about five hours, we had an early dinner at the White Fence Country Café located at Manalo Extension, Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa – the restaurant serves American, Filipino, Asian and Italian cuisine.

The way going to El Nido was so dark at nighttime and I think some parts of the road were under construction as I felt that we were travelling in an uncemented hi-way. Finally, after a long drive, we arrived at our resort at about pass 9 in the evening.

WHERE TO STAY

Marina Garden Beach Resort’s typical tourist accommodation includes a nipa hut-like two bedroom cottage with one restroom attached. A nipa hut is a traditional type of house made up from cogon grass and bamboo that is still visible in the rural parts of the provinces in the Philippines. Based from the present condition of our rooms, I concluded that the cottages must have been built a few years back as some of the fixtures, espceially in the restroom, seemed old.

el-nido-7

WHAT TO DO

Our island hopping activities were set by Northern Hope which consisted of free boat transfers, snorkeling and swimming gears and lunch (seafood and grilled food buffet). The best places we visited were the three famous lagoons in El Nido, the big, small and secret lagoons. We were mesmerized on how the clear waters of Palawan’s beaches are and the breathtaking view of its limestone islands that looked like big mushrooms sprouting out of the deep blue sea. We swam in the three lagoons and snorkeled in some good spots wherein we found an abundance of aquatic fauna.

el-nido-6

Almost everyday in our stay, we were brought to different islands and beaches and each of them offered a different scenic and picturesque view. We went to 7 Commandos Beach, Hidden Beach and Secret Beach all of which had the trademark white and fine sands of Palawan. In the last day of our island tour, we went to Matinloc Shrine where the local folks believed that it might have been the site of a hidden gold treasure that was excavated years ago. There was an elevated spot in the shrine where we climbed and positioned ourselves overlooking the sprawling white sand beaches and picture-perfect islands scattered across the vast waters of El Nido.

el-nido-1

EL NIDO’S NIGHTLIFE 

el-nido-9

Aside from the beautiful beaches of El Nido, the nightlife and food scene are also very well alive in this part of the country. Fresh catch from the fisher folks are always available in the nearby restaurants. Tourists can choose the fresh big lobsters, crabs and fishes and ask the chefs in the restaurants to cook them in whatever dish they prefer. Our last night in El Nido was well spent on great food and great music as we dined our hearts out with delicious seafood and fresh coconut juice.

el-nido-10

Leaving El Nido was like separating yourself in a place of comfort and bliss. We left the town early for our flight back to Manila and we did not even manage to buy souvenirs in the town itself that’s we just bought ours when we arrived again in the city of Puerto Princesa.

It was truly a wonderful feeling having to witness the beauty of El Nido, Palawan with its white sand beach, limestone islands, clear waters teeming with corals and fishes, and its vibrant nightlife. Truly, it was a great treasure to have experienced the beauty of the world’s best island.

Bacolod | The Stunning Ruins

the-ruins

Every people who wants to go to Bacolod must visit this stunning mansion in Talisay City. People will definitely love the view. This mansion was built in the early 1900’s by the sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson.

I went to Bacolod last January 2014. My primary reason of travelling is to experience it solo but things do change. My friend who was from Cadiz, Bacolod contacted me and told me that I can sleep in their house (so free transportation, food, and hotel it is).

the-ruins-5

Like a kid who gets their present, I am as if like a kid too. As soon as I step foot on the airport I already wanted to go and explore the beautiful city. Some say it is known for its chicken inasal, a food lover might enjoy living here.

the-ruins-1

This ruins was developed by Raymund Javellana one of Don Mariano’s children last May 2007 and it was officially opened to the public as a tourist attraction last January 2008.

THE RUINS HISTORY:

taken from bacolodtheruins.blogspot.com

The mansion was built in the early 1990’s by the sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson (1865-1948) and was home to his unmarried children and his first wife, Maria Braga Lacson (+1911), a Portugese from Macau. The mansion was the largest residential structure ever built at that time and had in it one of the finest furniture, chinaware, and decorative items, as the father of Maria Braga was a captain of ship that sailed across Europe and Asia and would cart with him these items. One of their daughters maintained a beautiful garden of lilies in and around the 4-tiered fountain fronting the mansion, all brought from abroad.

the-ruins-2

Their sons were the ones who supervised the construction of the mansion, making sure that the cement used was A-grade mixture of concrete and it is precisely followed.

the-ruins-3

The mansion was burnt during the World War II to prevent the Japanese soldiers in making it as a headquarters. It took days to bring down the fire of the roof and two-inch wooden floors.

the-ruins-4

Until this day this beautiful mansion is still standing tall amidst of the sugar plantation and continue to amaze all local and foreign tourists.

the-ruins-6

Up to date, this ruins is still viewed by many tourists even if it is located inside the sugar plantation and far from the highway. As years go by, the entrance fee is increasing. My friend who is living in Bacolod, told me that she experience Php 200.00 entrance fee when the attraction is not yet fully opened to the public. As of January 27, 2014 the entrance fee is Php 80.00 or $2 USD.

the-ruins-9

the-ruins-10

the-ruins-11

Inside the ruins you can also try their restaurant. They offer Italian food, so you can drop by anytime to try their yummy dishes.

the-ruins-12

They also have these giant chess, mini golf that I think you can play with, and grotto.

the-ruins-13

By the way the tricycle driver who drove us inside was the one who also drove us back to the city because tricycles are only limited (we took the tricycle instead of the private vehicle). No words can describe the feeling of being in Bacolod and seeing the ruins with your own two eyes. Indeed one of the best ruins. Still the original structure since Don Mariano built this in 1900.